Broadcast Commemorates Restoration of Priesthood

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“Broadcast Commemorates Restoration of Priesthood,” Ensign, Aug. 2004, 75

Broadcast Commemorates Restoration of Priesthood

While celebrating the 175th anniversary of the restoration of the priesthood, Church leaders encouraged Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders to live worthily.

President Gordon B. Hinckley told priesthood holders assembled at more than 5,500 satellite destinations in about 80 countries about memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 13 as a boy. The verse teaches that the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels. He quoted President Wilford Woodruff, who said: “A Priest holds the keys of the ministering of angels. Never in my life, as an Apostle, as a Seventy, or as an Elder, have I ever had more of the protection of the Lord than while holding the office of Priest” (Wilford Woodruff, in Millennial Star, 5 October 1891, 629).

“If we are to enjoy the protection of ministering angels, we must live worthy of their companionship,” President Hinckley said. He then warned against a few of Satan’s traps.

“Even at the risk of losing friends, you must decline” substances that violate the Word of Wisdom, he said. He called pornography an “evil thing” that “leads to evil thoughts and evil behavior. … It was designed as a trap for you.”

President Hinckley asked, “How can any boy who blesses the sacrament, or passes the sacrament, even think of having tattoos put upon his body?” And, “How could you, as one holding the priesthood and as one who is eligible to receive the ministering of angels, indulge in immorality of any kind?”

President Hinckley told priesthood holders that any who had fallen into these traps could repent, “but it is so much better that you live in such a way as to have nothing of substance of which to repent.”

Addressing Melchizedek Priesthood holders, President Hinckley said, “Could anything be greater or more desirable than to hold the priesthood after the order of the Son of God? These words are so sacred that we do not ordinarily use them,” he said, explaining why the priesthood is named after Melchizedek. “No king, no president, no head of state … has such authority.”

President Hinckley outlined the unbroken line of men through which he received his authority directly from the Lord Jesus Christ, and said that each priesthood holder could trace his authority in similar fashion. “[The priesthood’s] origin is not shrouded in the foggy mists of history,” he said.

President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also addressed the significance of the Restoration with regard to priesthood authority. With the visits of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, these “brethren connected the line of covenant priesthood authority to the restored Church,” creating “an unbroken chain of prophets and apostles” through which authority has passed “from one generation to the next,” he said.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not just an adjustment of or a correction of what had become of Christianity following the great Apostasy. It is a replacement, a restoration of organization and authority to what had been when Christ established it,” President Packer stated. The restoration of the priesthood made possible a latter-day “kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:5–6), made up of “ordinary men” able to administer “priestly ordinances,” he said. “We know the Lord trusts us, otherwise He would not give into our hands this great work and make of us a ‘kingdom of priests.’ That trust is very precious.”

Presiding Bishop H. David Burton challenged the young men to memorize section 13 of the Doctrine and Covenants and to stay close to their bishops. “This man of God … is uniquely positioned by our Heavenly Father to help you stand strong against the buffetings of Satan.”

A combined Aaronic Priesthood choir from Layton, Utah, performed a new original hymn entitled “Young Men of Zion.” The broadcast, held in the Conference Center on 15 May 2004, was translated into 66 languages.

President Gordon B. Hinckley encouraged priesthood bearers to live worthily.